This holiday season, when West Virginia University President James P. Clements offered his wishes with a heart-pumping holiday video, earnest responses poured in from future Mountaineers, current Mountaineers, always Mountaineers and, oddly, an Owl.

A 1965 Temple University graduate, perhaps stirred and inspired by the video’s sweet sound of “Simple Gifts,” posted this message for the entire WVU family on

“A Belated Merry Christmas and Sincere Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year to all who are associated with West Virginia – A Great University!”

So it appears even Temple grads can appreciate WVU’s gifts to the world – education, healthcare, service, research, diversity and, of course, pride – and those with closer ties to the University aren’t afraid to shout its praises for all of the Web-surfing world to see.

WVU deans, students, alumni, friends and fans crowded onto the holiday Web site last week to watch the video and leave their comments, stories, thanks and wishes:

“Education is the key to a better life” wrote Robert Griffith. “West Virginia University offers that key to the citizens of our state, our nation, and the world. I am proud to be a Mountaineer and believe the next decade will see great improvements in our already great university.”

“The gift of my education from WVU is something I cherish each and every day,” a poster named Maggie added. “I hope to one day give that same gift to each of my 3 children.”

One poster thanked the University for hiring his social psychology professor. Another, who was sure he could never love WVU, thanked the school for proving him wrong. Someone gave thanks to the graphic artist who used Flying WVs to create the video’s snowflakes (“just magical”).

Not surprisingly, many admitted to choking up with pride at the sound of “Simple Gifts.”

Those who haven’t watched the holiday video – or haven’t watched it enough – can visit and leave their own messages.



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